Trivia question for Apr-16-2011
Now that we are back from out trip, our trivia postings should be back on track. Today Carter stepped up to see if he can stump our fans. Let’s see how he does: These guys build a new nest each night and with legs linked, they form a protective ‘fabric’ around the queen.
When on the hunt for food, these ants form raids which follow two patterns: column raids and swarm attacks. One species uses a typical example of the column raider. In this type, the swarm members separate to the sides of the main route and make small foraging groups, similar to a tree with its branches. The individual side paths can be widely separated from one another.
The tropical species opt for the swarm attack. They, too, have a main route in the beginning which is then separated out into many branches in a form like an umbel, but their side paths are close together and may cross each other many times, so that the individual teams effectively cover a large area. In this way the column can fan itself out to a width of up to 20 meters.
So here are Carter’s questions: What type of ant is this and how many eggs can the queen lay in a single year? Also, tell us what some of their predators are?
Good Luck 😉
Congratulations to both Tammy (from England) and Nina (from South Africa) for both sending in their correct responses. The amazing ants we featured are in fact the South American Army Ants. The queen can lay up to 2.4 million eggs per year, thus ensuring the species survival even against intensive heat and torrential flooding which usually claim large numbers of these ants annually.
Though army ants fall prey to some amphibians, birds and even the horny-shinned pangolin, their greatest threat is human destruction of their rainforest habitat. Here is more on these fearless ants: South American Army Ants
Thanks for playing along 😉